Oct 16, 2012, 11:21 AM EDT
After three weeks, five games and a flurry of rumors, Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty has bolted the Swiss league.
The 23-year-old left struggling club side Ambri-Piotta on Tuesday and was expected to fly into his native Connecticut on Wednesday.
According to Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette, the “tidiest” explanation for the departure is that Swiss league training and practice regimens simply couldn’t match what Pacioretty — a notorious workout fiend — had built up over the summer.
Stubbs also notes Pacioretty had a long commute from his residence to the rink, and that strength-training facilities fell short of what he expected.
As for the less tidy explanation? Right here:
Pacioretty never tasted victory, arriving in the tiny village with his club two losses into what would be a 10-game losing streak, Ambrì sinking into the 12-team league basement.
Pacioretty sat out his final three games, said to have been suffering from the flu in the first two – though that might not be entirely true.
He then was a healthy scratch in last Saturday’s match, the victim, it was reported by multiple sources, of Switzerland’s import quotas; only four import players can suit up for a club for any game, and Ambrì Piotta coach Kevin Constantine used two forwards and two defencemen from outside that night.
The club reported that Pacioretty never fully recovered from his flu and asked to be released, saying he’d be welcome to return at any time. The club also said he was suffering from inflammation of an elbow.
Pacioretty’s agent, Alex Schall, told the Gazette his client is nursing a few nagging injuries, but none that would’ve prevented him from starting the NHL season on time.
So make of the elbow diagnosis what you will.
Pacioretty was Ambri-Piotta’s lone NHL lockout signing, though the team does have a number of ex-NHLers — Richard Park, Jason Williams, Nolan Schaefer and Constantine, the former head coach in San Jose, Pittsburgh and New Jersey.
- Risk Factors: Boston Bruins edition 4
- Hello Johansen? Boone Jenner out with broken hand 5
- Bruins release Leino; Boychuk staying put? 18
- Babcock doesn’t think this will be his last year with the Wings 9
- Starting tomorrow, PHT’s ‘Risk Factors’ Series 6
- Krug, Smith sign with Bruins 19
- PHT Morning Skate: Grigorenko with highlight-reel shootout goal 7
- Sabres lose Larsson, Kaleta to head injuries, Leafs’ Booth out too (Update: Franson’s hurt) 5
- Report: Dal Colle signs with Islanders (Updated) 1
- Bridge built: Blues lock up Schwartz to two-year deal reportedly worth $4.7M 12
- Jordan Subban has ‘moved on’ after ‘unfortunate’ photo caption by Vancouver papers (52)
- Players pushed for coaching fines because they were ‘encouraged’ to dive (34)
- Sabres’ Nolan, Avalanche don’t believe in analytics (32)
- Caps unveil new Winter Classic jerseys (28)
- Ouch: Datsyuk (separated shoulder) out 4-5 weeks (27)